MRS TIGGYWINKLE

hedgehogs

‘The Long Walk’, this guy was out on a newly mown field in the middle of the day. The evening photo was taken earlier in the spring with an iPhone. Three fat babies and mum. Front view!

In the past we have seen a hedgehog now and again, probably not even every year, and that has been in the far corners of the fields. This summer a hedgehog has been ambling along the track by the holiday homes in broad daylight almost on a daily basis. I say ‘a hedgehog’, but I can’t tell one from another, so I must mark it with a dab of nail varnish to discover how many there are. What colour shall I use?

The other day we shifted the cover over the dung heap (it’s there to stop the rain leaching the nutrients out of the dung), and we found Mrs Tiggywinkle’s home with three fat babies! They must have enjoyed the warmth from the composting dung when they were little, but now they must be baking in the July sunshine. What great weather we’ve been having this year!

A smaller baby hedgehog has been seen several times by the caravan to the delight of the children. There must be another nest nearby. They should be great for reducing the slugs and snails in the garden.

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EUROPEAN PIPE BAND CHAMPIONSHIPS

pipeband

FORRES Saturday 29th June 2013

What a wonderful display of colour there will be in Forres as the bands play their reels and marches. Over 100 pipe bands from all over Europe will compete in the natural amphitheatre of Grant Park, a beautiful setting several times winner of the Britain in Bloom award. Lets hope for the sunny weather typical of the Moray Firth, and that it will inspire our son to take up his chanter again. It has been gathering dust since he left the school band pictured above. See Piping Hot Forres

DO SQUIRRELS HIBERNATE?

Red squirrels in snow.

Red squirrels in snow.

When I was at school we were told that squirrels bury nuts in autumn and then sleep through the cold weather. Here at Holiday Cottage Nairn we have had dawn to dusk sunshine and freezing nights for over a week now, and this morning woke up to a small fall of snow. How silently it comes. The squirrels have been out every day amusing the guests with their antics on the bird nuts, and today here they are again in the snow. This photo was taken from our kitchen window. There is a short video of the wildlife and farm animals here at Hiddenglen.

SCOTLAND’S BEST BEACH

Snowy beach

Nairn beach in winter by Bratach

Voted for by visitors, TripAdvisor lists Nairn beach as the best in Scotland, and 11th in the UK. Locals who know the clean golden sands will not be surprised. Even in winter it is popular for walking with a chance to watch the dolphins jumping quite close to the shore. In between the dog walkers (with their pooper scoopers) one sees kite surfers, sand yachts and recently a Dundee musician miming his song to camera as he makes his latest video. The other bonuses, apart from the safe swimming in shallow water,  are the views across the Moray Firth to the Black Isle and the fantastic sunsets. Holiday cottage Nairn is ten minutes drive from this beautiful beach where Peter goes swimming every year on his birthday!

Last of the sunset
11pm on a summer’s evening by Bratach.

St VALENTINE’S DAY FLOWERS

Red roses from Africa are not an option here at Holiday Cottage Nairn so i thought i would see which flowers are blooming in the Highlands of Scotland today. But wait, why are roses from Africa a bad idea? Apart from the air miles, the locals from around Lake Naivasha have lost the best ground for growing their own food to mostly foreign companies who employ them to apply nasty pesticides without proper protection so they must then buy food and water.  Irrigation is lowering the level of the lake, pesticides are polluting it and most of the public access to the lake for washing clothes and watering cattle has been closed. The lake is dying. For the full story see Lake Naivasha Report

Nairn sky on St Valentine's Day.

So what did i find on a morning that started with a beautiful sky?

Laikenbuie whins and snowdrops

Laikenbuie whins and snowdrops
Hepatica, Jasmine and Heather
Hepatica, Jasmine and Heather

Holiday cottage Nairn posy

Holiday cottage Nairn posy

 And yes my beautiful wife made two lovely posies, and neither of them was for me!

RAVENS AT LAIKENBUIE

Ravensmall

Nairn Birder hopes to improve on this quick snap.

We were first alerted by the cronk cronk sound as the ravens flew over the croft. Yes, either a pair or a single bird has flown by on most days in the last three weeks.  We see plenty of rooks and crows, but the ravens are so much bigger and their primaries are obvious as they soar above us. It is the first time we have seen ravens here having lived near Nairn for over 30 years. This takes the birds identified on the croft to over ninety species.